Irvine on ice
In February 2017 a gathering of civic, athletic and philanthropic folks gathered at the Orange County Great Park for a groundbreaking–or “ice breaking” as it was called–for the Great Park Ice Complex. At the time officials predicted it would debut at the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Some observers, perhaps privately, doubted the ambitious prediction. But here we are in late 2018 and the construction and completion of the 270,000-square-foot complex is nearing completion. A soft opening is anticipated later this month and a grand opening of the facility will take place in early March 2019. That’s as close to “on schedule” as any of the several major civic improvements Irvine has celebrated in the past few years.
The state-of-the-sport Anaheim Ducks ice complex and practice facility will include four sheets of ice, one of which will seat 2,500 spectators and called FivePoint Arena. Three sheets will be NHL-size, while the fourth will be Olympic-size. It will be one of the largest ice facilities of its kind in the country.
The cool facility will offer a variety of ice sports, including youth and adult hockey programs; local, regional and national tournaments; figure skating and ice dancing; curling; broomball; sled hockey, city community services lessons, camps and recreation programs; and open public skating.
As part of the partnership with Great Park Ice, All Year FSC will host two competitions and two recitals on an annual basis that traditionally attract more than 500 participants. Established in 1939, All Year FSC has hosted over 15 regional championships, seven sectional championships, the 1997 Junior Olympics and was the host club for the 2002 U.S. Championships in Los Angeles.
Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli are the major benefactors of the $100 million facility that will be owned by a nonprofit Irvine Ice Foundation and operated under a 50-year lease with the city.
The $100 million-plus facility will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certified as part of the NHL Green initiative. All proceeds will go to further the growth of ice sports and activities locally.
Additionally, the new facility will create 15 full-time and 150 part-time positions while serving more than 10,000 local youth each year.